Bacon-Wilted Greens with Warm Goat Cheese

Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef and well-loved authority on Southern cooking. Her new book Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back. I’ve enjoyed cooking from it very much.

Bacon-Wilted Greens from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

In this beautifully photographed book, Virginia shares “lighter” versions of her favorite Southern recipes. Whole foods ingredients-and vegetables in particular-are featured prominently, and balance and moderation (yay!) are discussed throughout. Nutritional information is provided for all of the recipes.

I chose to make Virginia’s Bacon-Wilted Greens because 1. I am always looking for new ways to serve greens 2. I was intrigued by the baked apple with goat cheese garnish. I really loved this dish and will definitely be making it again! I used local Savoy spinach instead of the kale Virginia calls for: next time I’ll give the kale a try because the spinach cooked down quite a bit and made fewer servings than the recipe in the book states.

Bacon-Wilted Greens from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

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Thanksgiving Sides + MightyNest Glassware Giveaway

I love everything from MightyNest and I am a big fan of their efforts to support schools. So when they recently sent me some of their Anchor Hocking Glassware (and asked if I’d like to do a giveaway for the same items on my blog), I was thrilled. I’ve been cooking up a storm lately: … Read more

Pomegranate, Green Olive and Cilantro Relish + How to Keep Herbs Fresh

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Glad in conjunction with their #SAVEITSUNDAY program. With #SAVEITSUNDAY, Glad hopes to educate the public about the consequences of food waste, and I am proud they’ve asked me to be a part of the program. I am being compensated to share my #SAVEITSUNDAY experiences; all opinions are 100% my own.

Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs. I grow my own when the weather is cooperative, but this time of year, I rely on the supermarket for my cilantro stash. Cilantro often comes in such big bunches that I am always disappointed when it tends to wilt long before I get around to using it all. I frequently look for new ways to incorporate cilantro into my meals, but I’ve also long wondered if there was a better way I could be storing it to keep it fresh for longer.

I found a recipe for an Olive, Pomegranate, and Walnut Relish featuring parsley in Alice Water’s new book: The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden. I mentioned this book in a previous post…it’s truly fabulous. Anyway, I swapped out the parsley for cilantro in this recipe and it’s so good!

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I like to eat it on snappy rice crackers with sharp cheddar cheese. It’s also great as an accompaniment to roasted meats…I plan to serve it along with this cranberry sauce on my Thanksgiving table this year.

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(How cool is the upcycled bottle holding the crackers?! My friend Jocelyn is an eco-artist and she sells them in her etsy shop!)

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Cinnamon Sugar Kale Chips

Cinnamon Sugar Kale Chips from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Cinnamon sugar? On kale chips? I assure you I was incredulous when I first saw this recipe, too. But trust me, this is a combination you really must try.

Cinnamon Sugar Kale Chips from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I will admit that after making batch after batch of variously spiced kale chips several years ago, I got pretty sick of them. I honestly didn’t care if I ever saw a kale chip again. But then, while perusing Hallie Klecker’s new E-book Crazy for Kale

Crazy for Kale by Hallie Klecker

…I came upon these and knew I had to give them a go.

I made this recipe twice: once when I was home alone (when I had no problem devouring the whole batch) and once for my family (everyone loved them).

If you are already a fan of kale, you will really enjoy Hallie’s E-book. Hallie is such a creative cook, plus all of the recipes are gluten and dairy-free. If you are not already on the kale bandwagon, that’s all the more reason to get the book: you will be inspired!

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Baked Endive with Anchovies and Thyme

Baked Endive with Herbs from Healthy Green Kitchen

*Disclosure: I am so pleased to be working with the wonderful folks from California Endive Farms again. I receive complementary boxes of endive and I am being compensated to develop recipes to share with you in the coming months; all opinions expressed here are 100% mine.

Baked Endive with Herbs from Healthy Green Kitchen

The great thing about being an “endive ambassador” is the seemingly never-ending supply of this healthy vegetable in my refrigerator; I’ve eaten endive all winter long just about everyday and in many, many ways. I love it both raw and cooked, but for different reasons. When it’s raw, endive functions like a bitter green that’s excellent for digestion; when it’s cooked, the bitter flavor mellows so endive makes a palate-pleasing side dish. No matter how you choose to eat it, though, endive is high in vitamins and fiber, but low in calories and carbohydrates; it’s also grown in the USA and is unique because it’s always “in season”.

The preparation of baked endive you see here was adapted from a sweet book I picked up in my local independent book store last weekend: Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Garden. The original recipe calls for fennel, but I had a hunch endive would work very well in its stead: it did. This recipe also includes anchovies, and I know this may scare some of you a bit, but anchovies in a dish like this are pretty magical. They add a wonderfully salty flavor! I used anchovies from Vital Choice, which are harvested sustainably and contain protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D (so this dish quite nutritious). If you don’t want to give the anchovies a try, though, it’s okay to omit them.

For the breadcrumbs, I suggest you use a traditional sourdough loaf (or ciabatta, as recommended in the original recipe). I definitely could have torn mine into smaller pieces, so feel free to do that. If you avoid bread because you eat a low-carb or paleo diet, this dish will be just fine if you leave the breadcrumbs off. If you are gluten free but you like the idea of the breadcrumbs, use your favorite sturdy gluten-free bread.

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